Sunday, April 25, 2010

San Marco

When It think of St. Mark (San Marco) I think of Venice. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice and the Basilica of San Marco is truly one of the most beautiful churches in the world. I was fortunate to travel there a little more than two years ago. We celebrated Mass downstairs in a small chapel, after it was over when we walked out someone remarked "wow that was like being in another world" and I thought to myself, isn't that what it is suppose to be.

St. Mark is of course the author of the Gospel of Mark, and he was a rather interesting person. He was known by both his Greek name Joannes and his Latin name Marcus, John Mark or simply Mark. He is the son of Mary of Jerusalem (Acts 12:12, 25). The woman whose home Peter flees to after escaping prison. He was a cousin of Barnabas and companion of Paul (Col 4:10; Acts 13:5, 13; 14:36-41). He was a disciple of both Peter in Rome (1 Peter 5:13) and with Paul also in Rome (Col 4:10; Philem 24; 2Tim 4:11). Many theologians attribute him to be the naked young man in his own Gospel account (Mark 14:51-52). Mark wrote his gospel somewhere between 40 and 70 A.D. His audience was to the Gentile Christians living in Rome. Mark's Gospel has no real outline to it. It appears as though he was taking Peter's accounts and weaving them together. He devotes three chapters (Mark 14-16) to the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.

Mark's themes are:
The Good News (Mark 1:1) He uses the phrase good news more frequently than any other evangelist, Jesus the Messiah and Son of God Who is Jesus? Jesus is (Mark 2:7;4:41;8:29;41:61-62) Messianic Secret Jesus silences identification of him as the Messiah (Mark 1:25,34; 3:12; 5:43; 7:26; 8:26, 30;9:9) Jesus the Son of Man the suffering Messiah, three passion predictions (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33), Cost of Discipleship Take up Cross (Mark 8:34-38) Mark's is the shortest Gospel yet it is "action packed" he uses the word euthus Greek for immediately 40 times. He emphasizes Jesus battle with the "kingdom of Satan. If you want to read an excellent commentary on Mark get a copy of "The Gospel of Mark" by Mary Healy. Mark's symbol portrayed in art is that of the lion. St. Mark pray for us.

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